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The W.S. Woytinsky Lecture

The 2016 W.S. Woytinsky Lecture featuring Hal R. Varian, Chief Economist at Google, took place on Monday, September 12, from 11:40 am - 1:00 pm in Foster Library.

Since 2002 he has been involved in many aspects of Google, including auction design, econometric analysis, finance, corporate strategy and public policy. Hal also holds academic appointments at the University of California, Berkeley in three departments: business, economics, and information management.

Hal is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Econometric Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was co-editor of the American Economic Review from 1987-1990 and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oulu, Finland and the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.

He has published numerous papers in economic theory, industrial organization, financial economics, econometrics and information economics. He is the author of two major economics textbooks which have been translated into 22 languages. He is the co-author of a bestselling book on business strategy, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy and wrote a monthly column for the New York Times from 2000 to 2007.

He received his S.B. degree from MIT and his M.A, in mathematics and Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley. Hal has also taught at MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Michigan and other universities around the world. (Biographical information from


For those of you who were unable to attend the lectures, they are available for viewing now. Click the buttons below to be redirected to the department's YouTube channel.

University of Michigan Department of Economics
W. S. Woytinsky Lecture/Seminar Award (est. 1964)

2014       Professor Susan Athey
               Stanford School of Business
               Stanford University
               “The Internet and the News Media”

2013       Professor Robert Hall
               Hoover Institution and Department of Economics
               Stanford University
               “New Ideas about the Long-Lasting Collapse of Employment after the Financial Crisis”

2012       Professor Angus Deaton
               Princeton University
               “Randomized Controlled Trials and Economic Policy

2011-12   Professor David Card (Clark)
                Class of 1950 Professor of Economics
                Labor Studies Program Director, Center for Labor Economics
                Econometrics Laboratory (EML) Director
                University of California, Berkeley
                “Theory and Method in Empirical Microeconomics: Where Are We, and Where Are We Going?”

2010        Professor Larry Samuelson
                A. Douglas Melamed Professor of Economics
                Yale University.
                "Common Learning"

2009        Professor Mark Gertler
                New York University
                A Model of Unconventional Monetary Policy

2008        Professor Jeremy Bulow
                Richard Stepp Professor of Economics
                Graduate School of Business
                Stanford University
                “Winning Play in Spectrum Auctions"

2007        Professor Ernst Fehr
                Chair for Microeconomics and Experimental Economic Research
                Faculty of Economics and Computer Science
                University of Zurich
                "Limited Rationality"

2006        Stephen Morris, Princeton University
                “Coordination without Common Knowledge”

2003        Randall Wright, University of Pennsylvania
                "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis"

2002        Glenn Loury
                "Racial Stigma: Toward a New Paradigm for Discrimination Theory."

2001        Roger Noll
                Stanford University

2000        Elhanan Helpman
                Harvard University

2000        Claudia Goldin
                “The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions”

1999        Christopher Sims
                Princeton University

1999        James Heckman (Nobel, Clark)
                University of Chicago

1998        John Sutton
                London School of Economics

1998        Roy Radner
                New York University

1994/95  Peter Diamond
                 Marty Weitzman
                Harvard University

1993/94  Paul Milgrom
                 Tom Sargent

1992/93  Richard Blundell
                University College, London
                 Robert Lucas

1991/92  Robert Barro
                Harvard University
                 Jim Poterba

1989        Professor Zvi Grilliches
                Department of Economics
                Harvard University

1985        Professor Arthur Goldberger
                University of Wisconsin
                “Modeling the Economic Family.”

1981        Professor Alan S. Blinder
                Princeton University

1977        Professor James N. Morgan
                Professor of Economics and Program Director
                University of Michigan

1972        Professor Alice Rivlin
                Brookings Institution
                “Social Policy: Alternate Strategies for the Federal Government”

1967        Professor Edward Denison
                Brookings Institution

1965        Professor Gary Becker
                Department of Economics
                Columbia University
                “Human capital and the personal distribution of income: an analytical approach”